Rivalries and controversies – as sports fans, we thrive on them. Sure, we might say that we care about sportsmanship, honor, and valor; but in reality, we like drama. Just like it is in the old Western movies – there has to be a good guy and a bad guy. Someone wearing the white hat and someone to root against. This is the exact reason why you see so many people who hate Duke basketball or the New York Yankees. We need villains.
Let’s be straight up, villains make everything interesting. Take Game of Thrones for example. The Lannister family are hardcore assholes, pretty much descended from the scum of the Earth, and if you were on fire they wouldn’t piss on you to put it out. They’re horrible. But just imagine what kind of show it would be if they weren’t there. It would suck and be boring as hell and probably be airing on ABC Family after Pretty Little Liars.
Enter Michael Bisping. The Count, is a brash, cocky British S.O.B. who loves to get under his opponents’ skins. He creates drama and he thrives off of it. Just look at The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 where he coached against Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Bisping was the biggest doucherocket on the face of the planet. But you know what? That made the season interesting. I’d watch, if only to root against him. And although he might be a grade A dick, there’s no denying that he’s a very talented fighter.
This past Wednesday Bisping fought American Tim Kennedy in the Main Event of The Ultimate Fighter Nations finale. It was an epic story line: the All-American Army Ranger bleeding Red White and Blue, vs. the arrogant Brit who bullies his opponents and attempts to get in their heads. It’s fantastic. And if you live in the U.S., it’s a no brainer that you’re rooting for Kennedy to crush Bisping, ruin his life, and stomp on his face while waving the Stars and Stripes in the Octagon. God Bless America!
Adding to this melodrama is the beauty of good ol’ social media. It’s no secret that these two warriors hate each other, however we get an inside view as to how deep this hatred runs, thanks to Twitter. Leading up to the fight Bisping unleashed a torrent of disrespectful tweets at Kennedy. The worst of the bunch disparaged his military service to the United States. As if this wasn’t bad enough, all of Bisping’s tweets were misspelled and grammatically incorrect. Seriously. The whole world sees the U.S. public school system as a laughing stock, but after looking at Bisping’s intelligence, the other countries might want to start looking at the Neanderthals that England is churning out. But I’ll tip my hat to Kennedy, because he responded in the best way possible – by retorting in flowery Shakespearean prose, mocking Bisping by simply using proper spelling and sentence structure.
Whether you’re rooting for Bisping or Kennedy, you can’t deny that the fight is infinitely more intriguing because of the drama and rivalry between the two. That’s a big part of the reason why TUF Nations wasn’t compelling – there was no drama between Patrick Côté and Kyle Noke. The two of them got along, coached like gentlemen and were very professional. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that at all. But at the end of the day, the intensity of a good rivalry makes everything in life a little more compelling.
Oh, and in case you aren’t aware of the outcome of Wednesday’s fight, U-S-A! U-S-A!!